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Report: 49ers hire full-time female assistant coach

Vincent Frank
Tom Gamble, 49ers helmet, Donavin Newsome

The San Francisco 49ers are reportedly on the verge of hiring just the second full-time female assistant coach in NFL history. Katie Sowers, formerly an intern with the Atlanta Falcons during training camp and the preseason last year, will now join former Bills assistant coach Kathryn Smith as the only full-time female coach in league history.

Sowers made the announcement on her Facebook page (h/t Niners Nation).

“I wanted to share with my friends and family that I have accepted a season long coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers,” Sowers wrote.

It’s not yet known what position Sowers will take. But it’s safe to say she will act as a quality control coach. It’s an entry-level position that will help the young woman gain valuable experience on the sideline.

After her work as a coaching intern last summer, Sowers moved on to the Falcons’s scouting department as an intern for nine months. It must be noted that her work with the Falcons is what likely led to this breakthrough position. After all, current 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was Atlanta’s offensive coordinator last season.

Sowers was originally brought on by the 49ers under the guise of the Bill Walsh NFL Diversity Coaching Fellowship this offseason.

“Bill Walsh is one of my favorite coaches of all-time,” Sowers said earlier in August, via The Mercury News. “I have a couple of his books I carry with me.”

Her ascension to a full-time role didn’t seem too realistic when she was brought on from Atlanta. After all, Sowers joined a number of other interns under the fellowship.

Now that Smith was not retained in Buffalo following the firing of Rex Ryan, Sowers is the only full-time female assistant coach in the NFL. It’s the latest example of women in this industry attempting to break a glass ceiling that has stood since the league’s inception.